Orchardist offers hefty reward over vandalism

Hastings orchardist Kulwant Singh has been targeted twice by vandals, putting jobs at risk. Photo/Duncan Brown
Hastings orchardist Kulwant Singh has been targeted twice by vandals, putting jobs at risk. Photo/Duncan Brown
Distraught orchardist Kulwant Singh is offering a reward of $5000 for information leading to the conviction of the people responsible for two attacks on his orchard.

Last weekend 1430 one-year-old trees were attacked, some of which were also part of a November 16 attack of 5,500 trees.

Detective Rob Parker said the fencing on Mr Singh's Henderson Rd property near Flaxmere was easily climbed over.

"It is a big block and it is very, very hard to secure," he said.

The attacks had placed Mr Singh's family in a difficult financial position and left them feeling vulnerable, he said.

"We really feel for them and are working hard to find a resolution."

He said he believed both crimes were linked.

Hastings Sikh religious leader Jarnail Singh said a meeting would be held tomorrow at the Hastings Sikh temple to discuss the matter and support the family.

He did not believe it was an anti-Sikh crime because the attack had targeted the same family twice.

"Every community has had a shock, but particularly the Sikh community," he said.

Family friend and a former Bay View neighbour of six years, Robbie Bird, said the family's victimisation was upsetting.

"They are very honest and extremely hard-working people who don't deserve this treatment," he said.

"They will be wondering what is going to happen to them next. They'll be out there working but with one eye looking over their shoulder all the time - it is just terrible.

"It's also terrible that this latest attack targeted the trees to do maximum damage by cutting below the graft - I hate to think there is someone in our industry that would do this.

"If anybody knows anything they should do the right thing and assist the authorities to find those responsible and put a stop to it."

Anyone with information is asked to phone Hastings police on 8730500 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

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